For buses, trams and trolleybuses buy tickets (€0.35) at any RATB street kiosk, marked ‘casa de bilete’ or simply ‘bilete’. Punch your ticket on board or risk a €10 on-the-spot fine.
Public transport runs from 5am to approximately 11pm (reduced service on Sunday). There’s some info online at www.ratb.ro. See Maps for a good one with routes.
Bucharest’s metro dates from 1979 and has four lines and 46 stations. Trains run every five to seven minutes during peak periods and about every 20 minutes off-peak between 5.30am and 11.30pm.
To use the metro buy a magnetic-strip ticket at the subterranean kiosks inside the main entrance to the metro station. Tickets valid for two/10 journeys cost €0.60/1.90. A one-month unlimited travel ticket costs €5.75.
To get to Henri Coanda (Otopeni) or Băneasa airport take bus 783 from the city centre, which departs every 15 minutes between 5.37am and 11.23pm (every half-hour at weekends) from Piaţa Unirii and goes via PiaţaVictoriei.
Buy a ticket, valid for two trips, for €1 at any RATB (Régie Autonome de Transport de Bucureşti) bus-ticket booth near a bus stop. Once inside the bus remember to feed the ticket into the machine.
Băneasa is 20 minutes from the centre; get off at the ‘aeroportul Băneasa’ stop.
Henri Coanda is about 40 minutes from the city centre. The bus stops outside the departures hall before continuing to arrivals.
To get to the centre from Henri Coanda, catch bus 783 from the downstairs ramp outside the arrivals hall; you’ll need to buy a ticket from the stand at the north end of the waiting platform (to right as you exit).
Taking a reputable taxi from the centre to Henri Coanda should cost no more than €6 or €7.
Fly Taxi monopolises airport transfers and charges about €15 to the centre – go for a flat rate; don’t rely on the meter.
Opt for a cab with a meter, and avoid the guys outside Gară de Nord. It’s best to call one – or have a restaurant or hotel call one for you. Reputable companies include Cobalcescu (9451), CrisTaxi (9461) and Taxi Sprint (9495).
Check to see the meter is on. Rates are posted on the door. Better (and common) rates are about €0.30 per kilometre.